Wacky Reference Wednesdays, No. 215

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Spectacular Spider-Man #14, Page 1 (Panel 1 Detail).
2004. Oil on masonite, 16 × 24″.

Here's the very first panel of my very first Spider-Man comic from nearly a decade ago. It features a "Spider-Man expert," the first in a series of New Yorkers interviewed about the wall-crawler at the outset of the story (written by Paul Jenkins). He's a not-so-thinly-veined stand-in for Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons. He's even got 3 fingers.

Is that a Sony CD Walman in your pocket, or are you just in 2004?

Aside from using myself as a model, I included several other references, including my own cover to the issue (flipped), artwork by Ditko and Romita, an Alex Ross Spidey bust, and my own sculpture of Mystique. And is that a Klingon Bird of Prey?

To the right is a pic of my studio from the same photo shoot. I was working in oils at the time, and had fashioned a ginormous palette. The wooden box at the bottom right was a cover for my glass palette, complete with weather-stripping for a tight seal. It barely worked, but it made me feel good about myself. The signed Alex Ross poster did the opposite (but in a helpful way).

Spectacular Spider-Man #14 Cover. 2003.
Oil on masonite, 16 × 24″.

The pencil layout below has a bleached-out portion because I hadn't yet learned about non-destructive editing. Now I keep multiple copies of every file, at multiples stages. (And then I post them here on the blog.)

Digital Color Study
Pencil Layout


  1. I have never painted in oils, I usually work with Copics, wattercolours or digital coloured (using Photoshop). I work in one way or another, depending on the type of commissions.
    I'm currently experimenting with gouache and acrylic paints and your 'step by step' painting posts are so usefull for me (thank you so much!).

    1. You're quite welcome, Miguel. Glad I could be of help.

  2. O.o How did you get this picture of me??? **looks down at his Venom t-shirt** good thing my belly doesn't stick out that much!!! :-) Awesome artwork as always Mr Rivera!!!

    Keep On Thwipin'!!!

  3. Lol fat, ugly people are so funny, right Paolo?

    1. Even when I was fat, I still thought The Simpsons was funny.


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